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Statement by Ambassador Tichenor to World Intellectual Property Organization
September 22, 2008

Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization
45th Series of Meetings

Statement by Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor
Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva

Mr. President, Mr. Director General, Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentleman:

We meet at an hour of great promise and hope. For before us is great promise for WIPO and all who are dedicated to its success and hope that the divisions of the past can be left behind as we unite in a common cause in pursuit of a brighter future for this vital organization and all who rely on it. We observe today not a victory of one candidate but a new chapter of progress for the World Intellectual Property Organization, marking an end as well as a new beginning, bringing with it change as well as renewal. For it is in our hands, Member States, the new DG, the Secretariat, WIPO staff, and all the relevant stakeholders to build together the World Intellectual Property Organization we seek and need in the 21st Century. The mantle of leadership has been passed and together, we are well able to assure success in this endeavor.

Mr. President, the United States wishes to express to you Sir, its deep appreciation for your role as President of the General Assembly this past year. You have earned universal respect and admiration as your every action recalls the great traditions of principled, dedicated public service –you have resolutely pursued a forward looking, optimistic vision for WIPO’s future, you have been unyielding—despite tremendous pressures and oftentimes conflicting interests—in pursuit of fairness, equity, and in according respect for all the parties as you have led this assembly toward a decision that was in our mutual long term best interest—and lastly in all of this you have been a person of absolute, unimpeachable integrity—you have without fail been true to your word—most of all when the swirling winds of political debate were blowing the hardest. For all of this, Sir, you have our sincere and abiding thanks, admiration and respect.

The United States wishes also to express our appreciation to the Secretariat for their assistance throughout this endeavor.

To the new WIPO DG Dr. Gurry—The United States extends our warm congratulations and welcomes you to your new post. You possess the vision, character, demonstrated record of distinguished professional success and leadership skills necessary to lead WIPO to a very promising future.

Under your leadership, the U.S. delegation believes that there are several initiatives that WIPO must focus on to ensure the Organization’s future success:

  1. Following-up on the Desk-to-Desk assessment carried out in response to the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit recommendation that we agreed to implement;
  2. implementing the development-related proposal in the Committee on Development and IP
  3. moving forward with WIPO’s substantive work in the field of patent law harmonization and other areas; and
  4. Managing the growth in WIPO staff and services and maintaining WIPO’s reputation as the specialized UN agency uniquely qualified to deal with the complex field of intellectual property.

In that you will be joined by a very able and loyal WIPO staff. We wish you and the WIPO team every success and at the same time express our appreciation for the dedicated work of the loyal WIPO staff through all the tribulations of the past year.

To the outgoing DG – Dr. Idris – the United States expresses our appreciation for your efforts and in helping insure that the transition to the new DG was a smooth one, and wishes you the very best in the future.

To our fellow members of WIPO, let us now turn our sights to the future. It is in our hands, along with all the stakeholders, to build a stronger, more united WIPO for the 21st century: protecting the inventor and the innovator, those who through their genius, persistence and dedicated labor create and produce intellectual property, which is increasingly at the heart of our shared prosperity in our ever more globalized economy. Together we can insure the rights of the intellectual property creators and producers, stimulate and enhance the work of the IP creators of the future – wherever they might be from around the globe – build a stronger, more unified World Intellectual Property Organization and help spread the blessings of increased development and prosperity that we all seek, to every corner of the world.

It is time, in short, for us to seize the opportunity provided to us by new leadership at WIPO – to overcome the difficulties and to fully realize our shared opportunities. We must try. And I believe we shall succeed.

I thank you, Mr. President.